The Houston Rockets will look to avenge their tough loss against the Magic from earlier this month tonight as they face them in Toyota Center. With CP3 returning, can the Rockets make it happen?
The Houston Rockets have won two in a row, including a great win the other night vs. one of the best teams in the league: the Toronto Raptors. They have been doing this while undermanned, with multiple key pieces out of the lineup for the last month. Chris Paul was injured on December 20, Clint Capela recently went down for a month and Eric Gordon just came back a couple weeks ago.
The Rockets will have some help finally return from injury tonight, likely. CP3 is expected to play after more than a month of being down with a hamstring injury. Houston was able to be cautious with him thanks to the extraordinary play of the MVP, James Harden.
Sources say Chris Paul is planning to play tonight vs. Magic. Coach Mike D’Antoni expressed uncertainty at yesterday’s practice, but all signs point to CP3’s return after 17-game absence. https://t.co/YhfvpjN9Nu
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 27, 2019
Earlier this month on the 13th, the Rockets led most of the game against the Orlando Magic. They were up by a good amount before blowing the lead in the fourth quarter to suffer a tough loss. While the Magic certainly aren’t as bad as they have been in the past, they still are a team the Rockets should beat most every time.
They have a chance at a little redemption tonight as they visit the Rockets this time around. Can Houston overcome their Magic woes and keep this streak going tonight?
A deeper team
Chris Paul’s return is the start of the Rockets becoming a much deeper team than we’ve seen in recent years. While the squad isn’t as good defensively as they were last year, they have a lot of more playable guys on the team when healthy.
Austin Rivers will be relegated to the bench with CP3’s comeback. He will be a great bench weapon for the Rockets and should be able to re-find his shot after a tough stretch with a ton of minutes. Rivers started off great with the team but has struggled a bit in recent games, bringing down his 3-point percentage with Houston to 33%.
The Rockets can boast one of the best four-guard rotations in the league with Paul, Harden, Gordon and Rivers. They will also boast a great center rotation with Clint Capela and Kenneth Faried. If House is able to be signed back, him, Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker and James Ennis are not a bad group. The team can also look to make a trade for a forward who can guard the perimeter, like Kent Bazemore.
I’m ready to see a fully healthy Rockets squad. It’s possible that this team can be just as good or better than last year’s team, but they need to improve defensively first. Chris Paul’s return is the first step in that improvement.